Richard Senese | Center for Victims of Torture

Richard Senese

Past Chair

Dr. Richard (Dick) Senese is President of Capella University, where he had previously served as the VP of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. Prior to returning to Capella in 2014, Dr. Senese served in leadership roles with the University of Minnesota Extension for 13 years.  He last role was as Extension’s Senior Associate Dean, where he oversaw research, program evaluation, international partnerships, and faculty development, among other responsibilities.  Prior to his promotion to Senior Associate Dean, he served as the founding Associate Dean for the Center for Community Vitality, where was responsible for the Leadership and Civic Engagement and Community Economics outreach programs.  He has taught at a number of Minnesota-based institutions, including St. Olaf College, Metropolitan State University, and the College of St. Scholastica, and served previously as the Associate Dean for Capella University’s Harold Abel School of Psychology. In addition to his career in higher education, Dick served as a campaign manager for Senator Paul Wellstone’s 1990 campaign and worked for him in both St. Paul and Washington, DC. He also held a number of positions with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota, including servicing as State Chair from 1997-99.

Dr. Senese received his PhD from the University of Minnesota through the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology program with the Department of Educational Psychology. He is a licensed psychologist and active in community affairs in his native Minnesota.


We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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